VCU baseball accomplished one of their major goals for this season; they are regular season A10 champions. The Rams earned their 18th conference victory of the year today to clinch the championship. This was their first regular season championship for VCU baseball since 2003.
After leading the pack for most of the season, VCU relinquished their conference lead when they dropped two of three at Dayton. Rhode Island put together a 9 games win streak in league play to overtake the Black and Gold in the standings however, their reign was short lived.
URI Can’t Close The Deal
URI took a half game lead after a sweep of UMass. Rhode Island had a home game cancelled on March 31st against St. Louis. That cancellation resulted in a half game separation between the two schools, guaranteeing the teams would not need a tie breaking scenario. Rhody played their final A10 series of the season last weekend against Shawn Stiffler’s Alma mater, George Mason. The Patriots repaid their former pitcher and assistant coach by taking a pair of games from URI, meaning they only held a 1 ½ game lead over VCU.
Spiders Squashed, A10 Goals Accomplished
The Rams came into their final A10 series needing to win at least two games over Richmond. The Spiders ranked 12th out of 13 conference schools coming into the weekend.
They played with urgency against the bottom feeding Spiders. The Black and Gold squashed their crosstown rivals in the first two games by a combined score of 28 to 9. They will play their final game of the regular season tomorrow at 1PM, it will be largely inconsequential.
VCU will be a one seed in the A10 tournament, beginning May 24th in St. Louis. Only the top seven teams will recieve a spot in the bracket. The regular season conference champs will be the only team that doesn’t have to play on the tournament’s opening day. Stiffler’s guys will open play on the 25th.
The Rams aren’t in a position to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, despite winning the regular season champions. They will need to win their league tournament to earn their second NCAA bid in three years.
Shawn Stiffler discussed how important winning the conference was to himself and his players in our interview with the coach back in April. You can watch the video here.